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Author Topic: Hydronic Plinth Heaters  (Read 2665 times)
danmc_82
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« on: January 17, 2018, 08:04:11 PM »

In a few months I will be remodeling our kitchen, and to save some wall space I want to install a Plinth Heater which connects to our wet heating system.

There are quite a few different brands out there but one has caught my eye...

https://kitchenheaters.co.uk/product/kph-1500-wireless/

The reason this has caught my attention is due to the wireless thermostat feature which others don't seem to have.

A standard Plinth Heater stays on continuously as long as it sensors the water is being pumped. As my kitchen is well insulated I think it will get very warm, very quickly in which case I'd have to manually turn it off.
Not something I want to keep doing all the time.

There are options for Thermostats to be added to standard ones like this...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Plinth-Heater-Room-Thermostat-Suitable-for-Electric-or-CH-system-plinths/282077069490?hash=item41ad1a80b2:g:tXAAAOSwa39UxmEs

To me this just looks like a standard CH thermostat?

How would it even be wired up to a standard hydronic Plinth Heater?


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marshman
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 09:19:34 PM »

I would assume you simply wire it switch the plinth heater fan on and off. i.e. in series with the existing fan switch which senses flow/temp.

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JohnS
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 10:23:59 PM »

Many years ago (15+) we had a hydronic plinth heater before the kitchen was remodelled.  Cannot remember how it was controlled but think some sort of thermostat.

The one that I had came with special braided flexi connectors which could cope with central heating circuit temperatures.  Apparently the standard ones for hot taps are not able to cope with the higher temperatures of heating circuits.  Make sure you fit the right ones.

John
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danmc_82
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 10:36:15 PM »

I would assume you simply wire it switch the plinth heater fan on and off. i.e. in series with the existing fan switch which senses flow/temp.

Does that mean pretty much any thermostat can be wire to it? I was thinking of a decent, yet cheaper wireless one like this...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FLOUREON-Wi-Fi-Themostat-Controller-Central-Floor-Heating-Thermostat-Controller/173095783724?_trkparms=aid%3D555019%26algo%3DPL.BANDIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20151016114640%26meid%3Df345fc096df84b7c9c081155fa5fdd28%26pid%3D100507%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26&_trksid=p2045573.c100507.m3226

But there must be a receiver to connect to the heater?

Many years ago (15+) we had a hydronic plinth heater before the kitchen was remodelled.  Cannot remember how it was controlled but think some sort of thermostat.

The one that I had came with special braided flexi connectors which could cope with central heating circuit temperatures.  Apparently the standard ones for hot taps are not able to cope with the higher temperatures of heating circuits.  Make sure you fit the right ones.

John

Most of the ones I've looked at come with the flexi pipes so I'd assume they would be ok  Smiley
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marshman
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 10:43:21 PM »

The wireless bit is the wifi connection so you can control it with an app on your smartphone (don't understand why you would want to do that!).  Other than that it has a set of switch contacts that you wire to your heater/boiler or what ever.
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danmc_82
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 10:58:47 PM »

The wireless bit is the wifi connection so you can control it with an app on your smartphone (don't understand why you would want to do that!).  Other than that it has a set of switch contacts that you wire to your heater/boiler or what ever.

The heater will be on my boiler stove circuit so boiler to wire it too.  Huh

I'd have thought there be a transmitter of some sort attached to the heater, and the receiver (thermostat) would control it?
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 09:37:31 AM »

The wireless bit is the wifi connection so you can control it with an app on your smartphone (don't understand why you would want to do that!).  Other than that it has a set of switch contacts that you wire to your heater/boiler or what ever.

The heater will be on my boiler stove circuit so boiler to wire it too.  Huh

I'd have thought there be a transmitter of some sort attached to the heater, and the receiver (thermostat) would control it?

The "wireless" stat you linked to was WiFi connected so that you could control temperature and times etc. from an app on your smartphone (if you have one) but it still need "hard"wiring to the plinth heater.

You can get "proper" wireless stats that do as you want. They have a wall mounted control box which contains a battery and a small RF (wireless) transmitter, and a second box which you mount next to the heater or boiler. You then wire this box to your heater. Which is what I think you want.

Something like this:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SALUS-DIGITAL-ELECTRONIC-THERMOSTAT-RT300RF-BRAND-NEW-FREE-NEXT-DAY-COURIER/252418858349?epid=20006293890&hash=item3ac5561d6d:g:GggAAOSw-CpX-KMo

From what I understand you only need wire it into the plinth heater so it switches the fan on and off. Of course if the main heating/boiler is not on then the fan will not come on. If you want it to turn the boiler on as well then you will obviously have to sort the wiring out to do that.

Roger
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danmc_82
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 07:21:52 PM »

The wireless bit is the wifi connection so you can control it with an app on your smartphone (don't understand why you would want to do that!).  Other than that it has a set of switch contacts that you wire to your heater/boiler or what ever.

The heater will be on my boiler stove circuit so boiler to wire it too.  Huh

I'd have thought there be a transmitter of some sort attached to the heater, and the receiver (thermostat) would control it?

The "wireless" stat you linked to was WiFi connected so that you could control temperature and times etc. from an app on your smartphone (if you have one) but it still need "hard"wiring to the plinth heater.

You can get "proper" wireless stats that do as you want. They have a wall mounted control box which contains a battery and a small RF (wireless) transmitter, and a second box which you mount next to the heater or boiler. You then wire this box to your heater. Which is what I think you want.

Something like this:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SALUS-DIGITAL-ELECTRONIC-THERMOSTAT-RT300RF-BRAND-NEW-FREE-NEXT-DAY-COURIER/252418858349?epid=20006293890&hash=item3ac5561d6d:g:GggAAOSw-CpX-KMo

From what I understand you only need wire it into the plinth heater so it switches the fan on and off. Of course if the main heating/boiler is not on then the fan will not come on. If you want it to turn the boiler on as well then you will obviously have to sort the wiring out to do that.

Roger

Perfect, thank you. Would any plinth heater have the capacity to have a wired stat or would that all depend on the manufactures spec?
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desperate
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 04:32:06 PM »

Here's a thought, we used one of these many years ago and didn't find it very good TBH. It did warm the kitchen after a while but until then even though it was blowing warm air it felt like a cold draught even with the flow temp quite high.The comfort factor of blown hot air is pretty variable if you ask me.
 Another thing which annoyed us was the noise although not loud was still a bit of a pain, we were glad to get rid of it.

Is there no possibility of installing UFH? we did and never regretted it.

Desp
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 06:52:46 PM »

Desp,

I was thinking the same thing but didn't want to say...................

Regards

Richard
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 10:04:06 PM »

Here's a thought, we used one of these many years ago and didn't find it very good TBH. It did warm the kitchen after a while but until then even though it was blowing warm air it felt like a cold draught even with the flow temp quite high.The comfort factor of blown hot air is pretty variable if you ask me.
 Another thing which annoyed us was the noise although not loud was still a bit of a pain, we were glad to get rid of it.

Is there no possibility of installing UFH? we did and never regretted it.

Desp

we used to have a couple in my parents house and they were a waste of time- noisy if you wanted to get any heat out of them.
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2018, 08:17:12 AM »

I just fitted a second one in our kitchen off the internet. They are very basic so can easily be adapted. One has a wall mounted switch with variable speed controller and the other is simply 2 speed fan. The water temperature controls the on/off function so it needs to be 63c I think to switch on so you should never get cold air? The units need to be properly balanced within the heating system as with any radiator to get them to work most efficiently. Mine are part of a zone so the programmable room stat controls the zone including these heaters.
I stripped them down to cleaned out the fluff and muck from the heat exchanger which will impede performance. The cold air is sucked into the unit so at floor level it gets a lot of dust and fluff.
A simple thermostat is wired inside so any remote thermostat could be wired in but zone control is far better anyway.
The fan can be noisy if the bearings are worn or not lubricated. It is simply a tin box with a fan/motor/heat exchanger so if the screws are not tight and the parts correctly located it can rattle.
I think they have been neglected as they are brilliant for kitchens if correctly installed and maintained but I balk at paying 170 for something so unrefined since the 1970's.

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Kd
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 09:56:17 PM »

Hi, my thoughts if they are helpful to anyone, I have S5 plinth heaters they have been fitted in my kitchen/diner for over 10yrs
and have worked very well with almost nil maintenance (see * below).

Having tried both wireless and standard thermostats in my circumstances because they are directly above the heaters there is no advantage, mainly
you still have to run 240v for both the stat & heater if they are not battery operated.

Also after intially fitting a single smaller output heater which we had to set the fan on high to attain the set temp, we changed to the higher
output S5 which is set on low fan speed which you can only just hear.

For
If sized Correctly they can be left on very quiet low fan speed.
If there used to be a rad close the fitting is extremely easy.
Fit & forget (water heats up they come on, water cools they go off).
Very Low maintenance.
Unobtrusive, they take up unused space under units.

Against
If there are no CH connections near then new pipe runs are needed.
You cannot hang clothes to dry on them (maybe a FOR?)
If you use a standard thermostat it switches the fan off but not
the water flow so you still have a small passive heater under your
unit (Or fit a valve at more cost and more to go wrong).

* I clean the filter material I fitted to the back of the heater grill which fits to the front with cheap small magnets with a brush about
once every other year which takes all of 2min (longer if one day I decide they need washing).

One change I did after fitting roof PV several yrs ago I fitted a 3.5kw Aircon unit (invertor type) to the far wall in the dining area, this has
completely changed everything from heating those rooms, its for free when the sun shines but at other times with a High COP ie 1Kw in gives 3.5Kw
of heat output plus its invertor based ie it can vary its ouput from 3.5Kw to 400w, its very close to the normal CH running costs especially if you only
wanted to heat that part of the house.

Lastly... The rest of house uses a Netatmo Thermostat & Wifi Rad/valves for zoning, I tried a modified rad/valve in the plinth heater water
circuit and placed it at the front of the plinth, several things it looks really out of place, its a hazard and lastly did not give me the control I
was looking for when it switched the water either completely off or on it worked but at low water volumes the heater does not switch on, has anyone
had better control method with a modern smart thermostat.

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